Category: Answering Service
Whether you have a home-based business, telecommute, or are an offsite employee, working from home can emerge as either a blessing or a curse. Some people thrive when they work from home and others flounder.
The key to working efficiently in your home-based office hinges on the expectations you set for yourself and the amount of discipline you give it. Plan for success and you will likely succeed. Try to just wing it and you will likely fail.
Here are the top five things to be more productive when working from home:
1. Have Dedicated Office Space:
Set aside a space for work. Ideally use a separate room. If having a whole room reserved for your workspace isn’t feasible, then aim for a desk that you only use for your job.
Treat this space like your desk in an office complex. Because for you, it is. With a dedicated workspace, over time, you will condition your mind to know that when you enter this space and sit down, that it’s time to work.
To reinforce this make sure you don’t do any non-work activities in your special workspace. Don’t jump on social media, surf the web, or watch videos in your work area, even if you do so outside of normal work hours.
2. Remove Distractions
Once you establish your dedicated space for work in your home, strive to make that area professional and streamlined for productivity.
Remove non-work related elements. This includes a TV and radio, as well as the internet, if at all possible. And don’t position your desk in front of a window, which is another source of constant distraction.
Unless you need a phone for work, remove it as well—including your smartphone. Even if this isn’t the case, don’t answer your home phone or take personal calls while working. Outsourcing is key. Have an answering service handle your calls so you can work without the disruption of a ringing phone.
When you work from home, set a no interruption policy with your family. Just because you’re physically present, doesn’t mean you’re available.
3. Establish Boundaries
Part of having a no interruption policy is setting boundaries when you work from home. This includes posting office hours.
Having stated office hours—that you follow diligently—tells others in your home you’re working and therefore unavailable, just as if you were sitting in an office across town.
Having boundaries also applies to friends. Unless you establish firm expectations, they’ll assume that since you’re home, you’re available. You must learn to say, “Sorry, but I’m working.”
4. Follow a Schedule
We talked about posting office hours. That’s the first step when you work from home. The second step is following them. Be sitting down and ready to work when it’s time to start—every day.
But following a schedule works both ways. When the clock says work is over, you stop. Don’t keep working, do just one more thing, or return to your desk after dinner or on weekends.
Work when you should, and don’t work when you shouldn’t. That’s in your best interest, honors your family, and helps you maintain a good work-life balance.
5. Allow for Social Interaction
It’s a solitary effort when you work from home. It’s also most efficient because you can give laser-like focus to your work, and coworkers aren’t continually popping in to chat and your boss isn’t dragging you off to some impromptu meeting you don’t care about.
While some people, usually task-oriented ones, thrive in this environment, not everyone can, especially if you’re a people-person. If that describes you, plan to meet friends for lunch—just be sure to keep it within the standard business lunch timeframe.
Working at home offers many benefits but which requires intentionality to be successful and maximize success. LiveVoice understands this. Let them know if they can help.
LiveVoice is an omnichannel 24/7 customer support company that provides communication services to help small and medium sized businesses achieve greater success. Contact them about customizing their flexible, premium phone support service so you can turn opportunity into profit.
Peter DeHaan, PhD, is a freelance writer, call center authority, and publisher of Connections Magazine, which covers the call center industry.